There’s a lot of interesting points in the video above, mostly because there’s a lot of gray areas in this discussion that allow for differing points to be made.
That being said, let me reiterate a point that Bourdain makes: For all of our talk about food, and for the great circus that is food media, there are two issues that we need to be reminded of, again and again.
- A sizable number of people don’t care about food.
- Even if they did care, a sizable amount of people can’t afford to treat food as a luxury item.
People, and I mean everyday people, not those of us who would spend and extra dollar or ten on a better bottle of whiskey, or a better made load of bread, will congregate towards cheaper food, especially when their finances dictate it.
To that point, let me point out the follow graph which I yanked from Marion Nestle’s site:
Over the past 30 years, pop, beer, and butter have gotten cheaper while fresh fruits and vegetables have gotten more expensive. I think what Alice Waters is saying in her final point in the above video is that we need to change that perspective.
I’m not trying to dismiss Bourdain’s point. Taste can and should play a role. When we say that we should build a better tomato for a better tomorrow, we should ensure that affordable food should be tasty as well. But when we look at diet on a national basis, taste cannot be the only variable we pay attention to.
(h/t to Pat)